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this is "world news." tonight, race against time. entire towns submerged in water, sand and now fire. the national guard saving families. thousands still stranded tonight. and why they have to listen to this dangerous hissing sound. [ hissing ] a sound that could lead to this. water worry. our dr. richard besser tests the water all around millions of people in the storm zone and the worrying results are in. countdown. to another race, the election, days away. how has this storm changed the campaign? and, life lessons from the storm. what this man did with his cell phone that helped give birth to his baby.
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good evening. and tonight, we have breaking news from the storm zone. look at this. new scenes of utter devastation. thousands of people still stranded. and at this hour, rescuers still scrambling to pull families out of harm's way. also tonight, a new terror. can you see that in the water? the bubbling up? that geyser is flammable gas spewing out of a pipe and it's happening all across one town. a single spark could ignite everything. and the people there can hear the hissing sound as it leaks. listen. [ hissing ] abc's terry moran spent the day in that town and he's standing by with the very latest for us right now. terry? >> reporter: diane, this is what you see throughout the jersey shore right now. homes just ripped right off their foundations.
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this was someone's living room. there's a kitchen back there, a bathroom over here. but look down here. none of the infrastructure of the house is left. it's somewhere else. and that is why the real threat here right up and down the shore is what you can't see. fires rage in the town of mantoloking on the jersey shore early this morning, fueled by natural gas. it is a harbinger of a worst-case scenario here -- a potential disaster after the disaster. you can smell the gas. >> you can hear the gas. you can smell the gas. everywhere you go, you hear "shh," just the gas, all the open gas lines going. just scared to death. [ hissing ] >> reporter: do you hear that? that is the sound that everyone left in these towns is fearing the most right now. it is a hissing gas main. you hear it on street after street, right up the shore. you can smell the gas in the air. and fire officials are concerned
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that these towns are basically ticking time bombs. everywhere we went along the jersey shore today, in town after town, the air was filled with this hissing menace. >> if the wind shifts, it's going to get into the crawl space, god forbid, a spark. >> reporter: in the town of ortley beach, frank mazzo is worried and getting angry. have you called the gas company about this? >> five times. >> reporter: what's the response been? >> we'll get there as soon as we can. >> reporter: a high pressure gas main broke in the floodwaters right next to his home. you can actually see the gas pouring out. it ruptured monday night. >> i don't know why there's not more trucks here right now. i mean, this is where we took the main shot. this is it, like, where are all the gas trucks? you got down the block, we got down the block, why can't we get gas trucks down the block? >> reporter: we saw fleets of earthmovers clearing streets choked with acres of sand. and search and rescue teams
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continue to take the stranded to safety. but only a handful of gas crews as the air fills with the makings of another catastrophe. abc news has reached out to new jersey natural gas, that's the utility company here, and received the following response -- "there is no imminent danger to life or property." the people here would disagree. diane? >> watching and waiting tonight. thank you, terry. and further up the 630 miles of battered coastline, and that's in new york and new jersey alone. we go to hoboken, new jersey, and two pictures that say so much. wading through the river of water there and also, a very determined piggyback ride to safety. abc's alex perez is there. alex? >> reporter: well, diane, here, the streets of hoboken still much chaos tonight. this is a medical unit truck that showed up to help someone stranded in this apartment. people are just trying to figure out what to do. there are trucks like this one
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all over town trying to make sure that people get to safety. many of them are frustrated and running out of options. the bottom of the bathtub, as one neighbor calls it, first and harrison in hoboken. this is the sight stranded residents never thought they'd see. military rescue crews busting their backs to get each person out. step by step, one by one. ann clearly has patiently been waiting her turn for the last few hours. >> you can't communicate with anyone. you can't find out what's going on anywhere else. we've been on this little island. >> reporter: hoboken is just across the hudson river from manhattan. it's the city where frank sinatra was born and tonight, it's 25% under water. abc's sam champion got a birds-eye view today. >> the flooding that we're looking at in hoboken, this is wednesday that we're flying right now. the storm made landfall on monday night, that's when they got the water in.
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that water is still there. >> reporter: on the ground, as many as 20,000 people may be stranded in their homes. here, an entire block, taking turns using a generator to charge their phones and make some coffee to stay warm. some are braving the stew of sewage and rainwater. danna mattow and daniel o'brien decided to truck through. >> it's scary, you don't know how long you're going to be stuck here. you don't know how you're going to get out of town. >> reporter: dramatic scenes playing out across the region, in the desperate hours since sandy hit. last night, new york police helicopters airlifted staten island residents off their roof. up and down the jersey shore, scenes of devastation. house after house, crumpled to bits. and for many, stranded here in hoboken, there's no relief in sight. and diane, i'm standing in what's supposed to be a busy intersection. but if you look around, as far as the eye can see, nothing but water. and of course, for the people who live here, the urgency is only growing. diane? >> thank you, alex.
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and these rescue scenes bring us to an update, the ones you saw in alex's report, because they include some heroes of the storm you have met before. as sandy crashed into new york, i went to meet with the nypd's scuba rescue team and they are preparing to brave 20-foot waves in the dark of the night to help anyone in trouble, but they tell me today, they did not have to rescue a single new yorker in the waters, so, they boarded those rescue helicopters. they were there, airlifting people off the rooftop in staten island. a grateful city thanking them tonight. and how about the bright lights of the big city? well, the power was flickering back on today, in parts of the city. and here's how it began on wall street. street lights glowed green. and backup generators powered up the new york stock exchange as mayor michael bloomberg rang the opening bell. the markets back in business after a two-day hiatus. the dow closed flat at the end of the day.
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other signs of life tonight. broadway back after losing $7 million in ticket sales. and we could see new yorkers huddling at banks using extension cords to charge their cell phones. all across the city, new yorkers walked and waited. you can see the traffic there on the right. it was hours to move anywhere. and there is another hospital being evacuated tonight. bellevue hospital, famous for its mental health services. 150 national guard members coming in to take those patients to safety tonight. and new york is one of just 16 states grappling with power outages tonight. take a look at this. "the new york times" created a visual portrait of the power outages, as sandy moved up the coast and then moved on, leaving behind darkness. there you see where it happened. and also, back in action today, abc's chief medical editor, dr. richard besser.
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he was gathering up floodwater to test it for safety of anyone who touches it. and tonight, he put it to the lab. he has the answers. rich? >> reporter: that's right. yesterday, it was all about floodwater. this is water that's in people's basements, it's water that's on the streets. so, i went down to lower manhattan to collect a sample of that water for testing. and as you know, it was loaded with gasoline. the ambient group lab tested it for bacteria and here's what they found. the yellow tells us it has bacteria. but look at this purple glow. that's sky high levels of sewage contamination. all in all, the lab told us they found gasoline and two types of bacteria that are in sewage, coliforms and e. coli. it's very dangerous to come in contact with this. you have to wear protective equipment. >> wear gloves, wear gloves, and, again, throw out anything. you are going to test drinking water, as well. >> reporter: that's right. i'm getting these questions from all over the country about how safe is the drinking water? so, today, i went to the village of piermont, new york, to look
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at their water and see what the conditions are like. they've been very hard-hit. they are under a boil water advisory. that means their water may not be safe to drink without boiling or purifying with bleach. the storm knocked out one of their pumps. that means a big water pipe may have lost pressure and sucked back some of the dirty water from the outside. and the water company was testing. this home, they saw that advisory and they were doing the boiling and that's a good thing. the steeple family, they are all set for halloween. and me and my helper collected this water. and the lab is doing testing on their home water today. and we'll have those results for you. >> and how long do you have to boil the water before it is safe? >> reporter: you have to boil it for a full minute to ensure it is safe. >> rolling boil, one full minute. >> reporter: that's right. >> okay. and rich will be back again tomorrow night. thank you, rich. and before we move on, where is sandy tonight? the remnants of the storm are hurtling across the border into canada. flood warnings still in effect for parts of seven states. more snow on the way in west virginia and maryland. and our abc news extreme weather
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team continues the nonstop coverage throughout this night. and now, the race for the presidency, and a powerful image today. the firebrand republican governor of new jersey, chris christie, side-by-side with president obama, joining forces in this crisis. and just as our abc news/"washington post" poll out today shows president obama and governor mitt romney in a dead heat. your voice, your vote, and abc's jake tapper has more. >> reporter: hurricane sandy has forced the president to cancel his appearance at seven campaign events. but he may have gotten something more valuable. >> you're going to be okay. everybody's safe, right? >> reporter: the opportunity to lead and be seen leading. today with new jersey's republican governor chris christie at a shelter in brigantine, new jersey. >> hang in there. >> thank you. >> reporter: theirs was a most public display of bipartisanship today, a trait many undecided voters profess to love, one
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sorely lacking in washington, d.c. >> he has worked incredibly closely with me and i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern. >> governor christie, throughout this process, has been responsive, he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back even stronger than before. >> reporter: the president seems confident. his campaign manager said they have the math, romney's campaign the myth. polls out today have the president up in two of the states the president needs to put together his electoral puzzle -- wisconsin and ohio. and it's not as if all campaigning has been discontinued. >> we've got to get through the next six days. >> reporter: vice president biden in florida and former president clinton in iowa have been making the president's case for him. >> obama's economic plan is better. his budget plan is better. >> reporter: and diane, starting tomorrow morning, president obama will be campaigning full-time, full steam ahead, going to wisconsin, colorado, nevada, three cities in ohio, and diane, that's just thursday and friday. >> all right, thank you, jake. and what about governor romney? what does he plan to do as the race enters the final stretch? abc's jonathan karl tells us about that.
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>> reporter: mitt romney was back on the campaign trail today in florida, but with a twist. gone was any criticism of the president, replaced with talk of unity. >> look, we can't go on the road we are on. we can't change course in america if we keep on attacking each other. we have got to come together and get america on track again. >> reporter: recent polls in florida show the race here in a dead heat. romney's most prominent florida supporter told us it's hard to imagine him getting elected if he doesn't win here. >> i think it's very important to win and obviously difficult to come up with a formula for victory, i'm sure there is one, but let's not even try. let's win florida. >> reporter: just as important for romney is ohio, where he is under fire for ads suggesting u.s. automakers are about to ship jobs to china. >> obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who are going to build jeeps in china. >> reporter: chrysler and gm angrily denied they are shifting u.s. production to china.
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and joe biden accused romney of lying and causing panic among autoworkers in ohio. >> thousands of them are calling their uaw reps, "is it true, is it true? is jeep really going to leave? is the announcement they made not true? are they going to shut down our plant?" what a cynical, cynical thing to do. >> reporter: but the romney campaign does see some positive signs out there, especially in pennsylvania, minnesota and michigan. three states that have been considered solidly democratic, but where the obama campaign is now suddenly playing defense, spending more than $1 million on tv ads for the final week. diane? >> also on the campaign trail, jonathan karl. thank you, jon. and coming up here next, flammable gas leaking and it's not just a danger in the storm zone. look. our experiment tonight on this invisible threat.
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so, we wondered exactly how much of that gas is needed to cause an explosion? and abc's senior national correspondent jim avila set out to show us tonight. jim? >> reporter: so, diane, we're at the virginia beach, virginia, training center, i'm with a firefighter here who is going to show us what happens when a commercial gas meter breaks. the pilot light will be on. and look how fast it will take off. it's a frightening sound, and sight. natural gas burns fast and long. and after a natural disaster like hurricane sandy, where houses have been moved off their foundations, and whole blocks leveled from fire, it's a hazard at every turn. there is little clue, except a sulfur smell that is purposely added to the gas as a warning that danger lingers. so, what are we approaching here? you can kind of smell that rotten egg smell. >> right. we're simulating a broken gas line here, and that smell is the mercaptan that is injected into
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natural gas. >> reporter: okay, so when it goes up, it kind of goes up like your outside gas grill. it's hot. >> right. right now it's seeking an ignition source. ignition source can come from anything from a fuse on a light pole or a cigarette butt. >> reporter: but there's no real explosion, right? >> no, once the gas is seeking, a 5% to 17% flammable range and bam, it goes off. inside a structure, that's where you're going to get your explosion. >> reporter: there's plenty of evidence of that. watch as this house is rocked during a training exercise by arson investigators. >> the explosions are very hazardous, they can generate pressures on the order of 35 atmospheres. and these are like a military ballistic blast that can level houses and kill people within a great distance. >> reporter: and while our demonstrations today used flares to ignite, sources of ignitions are everywhere in a disaster zone. >> virtually anything can be an ignition source. motors or fans can ignite it or
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heat, the temperature, something that's cherry red, an electric stove that's cherry red is hot enough to ignite the mixture. >> reporter: diane, that's the sound that people all over new jersey are hearing. the thing the fire department says here is, don't panic, because it takes direct ignition to get it started, if you're outside. if you're inside a house and that happens, get out right away, then call 911. diane? >> all right, jim avila. thank you tonight. and, coming up, a milestone also worth noting today, for the sistine chapel. why did michelangelo tell his friends he didn't want to paint it in the first place? i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin. [ designer ] enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone --
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the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief, and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. get headed in a new direction. with humira, remission is possible. as we said, it's a milestone for michelangelo. 500 years ago today, he completed this. the sistine chapel. pope benedict marked the occasion at the vatican.
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it was pope julius ii who commissioned michelangelo to paint it. as we know, on his back. but michelangelo didn't want the job. he said it was so time consuming, he thought it was a conspiracy by his enemies to keep him from doing the work that would make him famous. and, of course, it is halloween tonight in so many places but postponed in some states because of the storm. but even in the storm zone, a lot of kids have found a way to trick or treat. super heroes and cats on long island, there you see them out in the dark in places where the power is out. not deterred by downed trees. and here in new york city, scenes tonight of determined trick or treaters, night vision images, a small symbol of the halloween spirit that will not be daunted. and, coming up here, some amazing people who show us how to face a true grit moment and walk through the storm. i have never encountered such a burning sensation...
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and finally tonight, we know in crisis, so many people give
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whatever they can. and you just saw it there. a rescue worker, who turned himself into a kind of human footstool so that people could get onto that truck. and so, abc's david muir decided to give us a kind of gallery of people who came through and all those who are saying thank you to them tonight. >> reporter: new mom julia, her husband duran and their new baby, micah, letting us know today, they're okay. >> hey, david. as you can see, we're doing great. really happy. >> reporter: and like so many people today, they wanted just one thing. to say thank you. to the quiet samaritans, the nurses, who simply were doing their jobs and became the real heroes of the hurricane. julia was in labor, having contractions inside that new york hospital that went dark, lost power when the generators gave out. desperate for an epidural in the darkness, her husband held a cell phone light as nurses went to work. >> so, i was standing, it was
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one of those flip, like, a flip cell phone, one of the old ones, and i was just basically holding it above her while she was putting in the iv, kind of making sure there was enough light for the doctors behinder. >> reporter: they were rushed out of the hospital, taken away in an ambulance. driving the ambulance was a worker that came from california to help out during the storm. when they said they were headed to mt. sinai hospital, he said, how do you get there? and while navigating the streets, part of a tree came crashing down on the ambulance. they got there, and 40 minutes later, baby micah was born. so, how is micah? >> oh, he's beautiful. he's awesome. >> reporter: there are so many families like them, touched by the kindness, the bravery of others. >> there's no words i have to thank them for what they did for us. >> reporter: this mom and dad and their baby, just six hours old, were also carried out of that darkened hospital. >> pretty amazing. saw them just dripping with sweat and carrying women that couldn't walk down the stairs. >> reporter: you were the welcoming committee. >> that's right. >> reporter: this was the team waiting at lenox hill hospital, taking in patients. >> there's no practice for this,
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never. >> reporter: no practice, but perseverance and pride in what they were doing in those dark hours. happy ending, right? >> absolutely. it's all about passion. >> reporter: passion from those who helped and, tonight, parents who are forever grateful. david muir, abc news, new york. >> and thank you so much for watching. we're always here at "nightline" will be here later. and i'll see you again tomorrow night. good night. we are blown away by that happed here and this gives us a chance to think. >> giants manager holding the championship trophy as fans
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from throughout the bay area and beyond celebrate the world series victory. >> number 48 the mvp of the world series, pablo sandoval. >> and a well deserved bow as the giants themselves revel in their own success. >> for this man the celebration is bittersweet. he had his nose broken trying to keep rowdy revelers in check and his story is one you will see only on abc 7 news. i'm carolyn johnson. >> i'm dan ashley. a ton and a half of confetti blasted on to the streets. the cleanup is underway. the rain as arrived. turn to spencer christian and live doppler doppler 7 hd. >> it will be a mess where the confetti is on the streets or on the ground. a wide area of rainfall up in the north bay. in fact, it has beenwe

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC October 31, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Abc 12, Diane 11, New York 9, Us 8, Florida 5, Hoboken 4, Sandy 4, Michelangelo 3, Chrysler 3, China 3, Micah 3, Romney 3, Jonathan Karl 2, America 2, Wisconsin 2, Humira 2, Lymphoma 2, New Listerine Ultraclean 2, David Muir 2, Chris Christie 2
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